ScholarLeaders International is a 501(c)3 non-profit ministry that exists to encourage and enable Christian theological leaders from the Majority World for the Global Church. 

History and Mission:

Founded in 1984

Inspired by the late John Stott's conviction that our sisters and brothers in the Majority World must have the opportunity to equip themselves and assume church leadership in their homelands, three of Stott's study assistants (Steve Hayner, Mark Labberton and Tom Cooper) founded Christian International Scholarship Foundation (CISF). Rather than send missionaries and teachers from the West, CISF funded proven, indigenous leaders to obtain advanced theological education, mostly in USA seminaries, then return home as highly respected and uniquely effective Christian leaders.

We need to truly enable the church around the world to develop the critical skills and training that's going to enable them to do the best of their own theological and spiritual work, not under the tutelage of a western voice. My life has been changed by knowing so many of these scholars. We who live in the West need the church in the Global South to teach us what it means to be people who live in a deeper and wider and greater address of the Kingdom of God. 

- Mark Labberton

Co-founder of ScholarLeaders International / President of Fuller Theological Seminary


CISF focused increasingly on regions of greatest opportunity and need: Africa, China, Brazil and the Middle East. From 2001, we also backed strategic institutions in the Majority World as they initiated their own doctoral programs, often led by faculty who had received CISF scholarships for their advanced education.

Recent Developments:

CISF was re-christened ScholarLeaders International in 2010 to reflect its expanded programs, which encourage life-long professional growth, support new ministry initiatives, and enable a more prominent global voice for Majority World Christian leaders. And ScholarLeaders increasingly collaborates with like-minded organizations to enhance the impact of all our work.